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London - US drugmaker AbbVie declined to rule out a hostile bid for Shire on Wednesday but said it was pushing hard for the London-listed drugmaker to engage in talks, after its $46 billion takeover approach was rejected.

Questioned by analysts if he might make a hostile bid, chief executive Richard Gonzalez said on conference call: “We're not willing to restrict our legal options here.”

He declined to comment on what approach AbbVie might take if it went down a hostile path.

Gonzalez stressed he wanted to engage with Shire's management to better understand its upbeat drug sales forecasts, adding he also planned to meet with Shire shareholders. - Reuters